NEW YORK – Anthony Weiner said Thursday that he’d traded racy messages with as many as three women since similar sexting forced him out of Congress. But as he tried to tamp down questions about his behavior, a poll suggested the new disclosures were taking a toll on his mayoral prospects.
Facing a third day of renewed queries and criticism of his conduct as he continued campaigning, the married Democrat also said he supposed he’d had sexually charged exchanges with a total of six to 10 women.
Weiner, the former congressman who resigned in 2011 after the first batch of sexts surfaced, is running for New York mayor and had been near the top of most polls of the Democratic primary race until the latest furor over his behavior began this week when the gossip website The Dirty posted explicit messages that a woman said she and Weiner sent each other starting in July 2012.
Weiner said he was still “working with people” to get help dealing with his penchant for X-rated online flirting, but he disputed that it’s an addiction.
“I don’t believe that it is. The people that I am working with don’t believe that it is,” he told reporters.
Before the revelations, Weiner was leading most polls gauging the primary race. But a new NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll showed he fell behind City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in the crowded Democratic field.
She leads him 25 percent to 16 percent among registered Democratic voters, according to the poll.